Sunday July 7th
Excursion to Elafonisi Beach and Palaiochora
Cost: € 28
Deadline to Register: Friday - 5th July, before lunch
(Please Note: We have a 30 seat maximum and the trip may fill up before then).
Join your ICICTE colleagues after the conference as we travel to the world famous Elafonisi Beach and the town of Pailochora, both on the southwestern coast of Crete.
This memorable trip will first bring us to the renowned pink sandy beaches and turquoise colored waters of Elafonisi Beach, named one of the best 25 beaches in the world by Trip Advisor in 2014. While there, you can walk out to the neighboring Elafonisi Island, which is separated from Crete by very shallow water or, if the tide is low enough, no water at all. This nearly mile long island is a protected nature reserve where you can get lost in its coves and admire the plethora of various vegetations that inhabit the island. If you are able to walk to the far end of the island you will even discover a cave as well as a small church. Some have called Elafonisi “magical,” and you will want to experience that magic for yourself.
Elafonisi’s name derives from the Greek word for deer (“elafi”) when it was discovered that one could walk to the island, just like a deer could.
During the Greek War of Independence in 1824 on Easter Sunday, several hundred Greeks were killed by advancing Turkish troops as the Greeks were awaiting a ship transport to the Ionian Islands. They were discovered by Turkish soldiers camping out on Crete, directly across from Elafonisi island, after one of Turkish soldiers’ horses walked through the shallow water to the island. Today, there is a plaque there commemorating this incident.
After swimming and working up an appetite, our second stop will be the town of Palaiochora (which means “old village” in Greek) for a bite to eat. After lunch, there will be time to shop and just explore the area.
Some of the notable things that attract visitors to this renowned town on a peninsula include: its beaches, picturesque hikes, abundant wild floral life, churches with ancient iconography, and the ruins of a castle (“Selino Kasteli”) that was originally built in the late 13th century.
You won’t want to miss this unforgettable trip!
10 AM - Depart Minoa Palace Hotel
** Pickup from other hotels can be arranged
11 AM - Arrive Elafonisi Beach 13:30 (1:30 PM) - Depart Elafonisi
14:00 (2 PM) - Arrive Palaiochora for lunch, followed by free time to explore, shop, etc.
17:00 (5 PM) - Depart Palaiochora
18:30 (6:30 PM) - Arrive Minoa Palace Hotel
Where to go and what to do in the day following the conference for those lucky ones who will stay on in beautiful Chania